My understanding is that after October a referral will bring everything back into play. If you’re batting and you make the referral you’re basically looking at a question of whether you hit the ball or whether the ball did what was required to deliver the LBW decision.

As far as hitting the ball goes, batsmen aren’t always the best judges, and they’re not always inclined to be honest either, but they’ve only got two referrals, and if someone wants to try it on when he’s feathered one through to the keeper and been given out he lives or dies by the sword (or so to speak). Take a punt on the referral when you suspect you may have nicked it and have the referral turned down and it’s tough luck.

Bringing everything back into play would seem, at least from where I’m sitting, to deliver a substantial advantage to the fielding side. 

If the batsman refers the catch behind because he knows he didn’t nick it and felt the ball brush the thigh pad should he reconsider the possible referral because he might be out LBW instead?

If he refers the catch behind, but then gets given out LBW, does the batting side lose a referral?

Switch the scenario slightly, and have the batsman given not out when there was a sound as the ball flew through to the keeper. Have the fielding side refer it, get a not out for the catch. That should mean they lose a referral. If they do, and the third umpire sees something that suggests LBW, fair enough. 

But if the fielding side, with two referrals in hand, refer it, get a not out for the catch, then pick up an LBW and still have two referrals left that’s getting a bit rich for mine.

Almost as rich as Stuart Broad doing his nana about an umpiring mistake, but we know not to expect consistency in these matters, don’t we?

Actually, the whole DRS bit is starting to look like a field day for bush lawyers, and you can make a fair case for getting rid of it entirely. That, of course, would suit the BCCI right down to the ground, which is, of course, the strongest argument for keeping it.

From here, with three days to play and a small deficit, this particular Test is anyone’s game, and anything approaching a prediction is even dodgier than it would be under supposedly normal circumstances.

Taking things hour by hour, if Rogers and Haddin are still there at drinks, Australia should have a slim lead. If they’re both still there at lunch, that lead should be somewhere around fifty. From there, anything could happen, and more than likely will.

If you had make a call, however, you’d probably be inclined to suggest Australia has the nose in front at this point, but there’s only a nostril in it.

© Ian L Hughes 2021